THE ROCKIES ROADTRIP
ROAD TO THE ROCKIES
by James Humberstone
My road trip with my two mates, Harry and Joel, started in Vancouver. On the first day we met up with a local photographer Harry knew from instagram and he took us outside of the city to Lynn Canyon for a morning of walking, photos and chatting nonsense in a stunning setting. I absolutely loved it here, the thought of having such beautiful countryside so close to the city is pretty special. It was possibly the greatest start to a road trip you could ask for.
We stopped off in Helmcken after spending a night in a motel in Clearwater. The motel was lush, it was surrounded by woodland and I’ve never heard such active nocturnal animals before, it was definitely the best way to be kept awake. Helmcken falls were might impressive too, I’m used to a little trickle down a hill being classed as a waterfall, but this was on a different level. Even half a kilometre away you can feel the spray on you. I would have loved to have got a bit closer to the falls but I don’t think I could have trusted my hiking ability down some of the slopes.
We’d planned to stay around Jasper for a few days after Clearwater but due to our lack of organization meant that all accommodation was booked up. Instead we found an airbnb available in a small town called McBride about 90 minutes from Jasper. Our host introduced us to a white water rafting company down the road and I managed to snap this bridge whilst we were there. I’d never tried rafting before but it was one of the most fun activities i’ve done. You got to see the mountains from the middle of the river and the views completely made up for the fact that I was soaking wet at the end of it.
I feel a bit guilty about taking this shot as I completely ruined the photo Joel was trying to take. I think it summarizes the road trip nicely; Driving between mountains, singing along to classic rock music with my old house mates and taking photos out of car windows. There wasn’t a dull moment.
The ice fields parkway is about 90 miles long and extreme mountains like these are littered throughout it. We drove through it on our way to Banff and it was really hard not to pull over every two minutes to stare at the mountains. We must have spent about half an hour just sitting and waiting here. It meant we were late to check into our hostel but it was definitely worth it.
We saw a bear…. an actual grizzly bear! At home in the UK I’m used to squirrels being the most extreme wildlife I see, so seeing this fellow wondering around at the side of the road was mind blowing. I got this shot whilst leaning out of the car window. My mates were brave enough to step out of the car to get some photos; fortunately she was far more interested in eating the berries than my friends.
Joel wondered off from us off at Peyto Lake for a bit whilst Harry and I were taking some photos. We walked down the slope a bit to find him perched on this rock enjoying the view. I’ve never seen water so perfectly blue before, although I bet it is freezing cold. Peyton lake was probably my favorite of the lakes we visited, the view was fantastic and once we got off the track a bit it was perfectly tranquil.
Our road trip was supposed to end in Calgary for a week-long break at the stampede, but after about 4 days we’d decided that we needed to be out in nature one last time before we flew home. We found ourselves another car for a day and decided to head out on a hike in Kananaskis. The weather wasn’t great but we had a beautiful walk up some mountains with our cameras. We brought a picnic with us and ate it by the side of a lake. The perfect end to the trip.
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